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City proposes water deal
DUD w sm
The City of Smithville plans to present the DeKalb Utility District with a proposal for a new water-purchase agreement.While a Utility Management Review Board hearing is set for Thursday to consider the DUD's planned water treatment plant, city officials have a last-minute plan they hope will cause them to reconsider the project.City attorney Vester Parsley, Jr. told the mayor and aldermen Monday night that J.R. Wauford, the city's engineer, has recommended that the city offer to sell water to the DUD at $2.20 per thousand gallons for the first five years, at which time the rate would increase to $2.40 per thousand for the last half of the 10-year agreement.Under the existing contract, which expires early next year, the DUD pays $2.05 per thousand gallons.The plan would take effect at the end of the current contract.“We had Mr. Wauford to do a feasibility study for us to make an offer to the DUD regarding a possible solution to this problem by offering to them a contract which would say for the first five years that we could sell water to them at a rate of $2.20, and after that for an additional five years at the rate of $2.40,” Parsley told the city council.Parsley said that while the proposed rate is less than the city's actual cost of $2.67 per thousand gallons to produce water, he believes that it would be more beneficial for the city to reach an agreement with DUD than to lose its biggest water customer.Parsley said more than $300,000 could be lost if the DUD stops buying water from the city.“I realize that's a little below what the cost study of Mr. Warren said,” Parsley noted. “However, one of the factors you have to consider is that if we lose DUD, we lose roughly $300,000.“But we can sell it to them wholesale a little cheaper because of the volume that they have,” the city attorney continued. “Mr. Wauford felt like it was better to reduce our rates to them for the next 10 years to keep them as a customer rather than lose them as a customer and have to lose probably in excess of $300,000 annually.”The aldermen and the DUD board would both have to approve the plan.Parsley said the proposal would be delivered to DUD Attorney Keith Blair on Tuesday.“We will submit that to them tomorrow.